President Biden has strengthened the growing coalition between social conservatives and gender-critical feminists against transgender ideology by issuing an executive order on “advancing equality” for people who are not heterosexual or don’t identify with their sex.
While they disagree on abortion rights and same-sex attraction, this ideological odd couple shares common ground on the primacy of sex-based rights, the harm of pornography and even the “sexualization of children” through exposure to adult themes such as drag.
The executive order is specifically focused on “unrelenting political and legislative attacks” by unnamed states “on LGBTQI+ children and families in particular,” which endanger a half-century of “civil rights gains,” harm democracy and “threaten basic personal safety.”
It implies that limiting women’s sports to biological females – as a third of states have done, most recently Louisiana – and keeping intimate facilities separated by sex is comparable to “the criminalization that LGBTQI+ people continue to face in some 70 countries around the world.”
The order promises federal support for “LGBTQI+ students in our nation’s schools and other education and training programs,” including through guidance on “safe and inclusive learning environments” that “address bullying” of these students –without defining any of those terms.
It also mentions “mental health” a dozen times, with a focus on youth. The White House will “identify promising practices” to ensure schools provide “accessible and supportive” mental and other health services for LGBTQI+ students, likely meaning the gender-affirming care model that prioritizes drug therapy and even surgery.
The order lumps in talk therapy to address a child’s possibly transient gender confusion, a more cautious approach than starting puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, with active counseling to “suppress or change” sexual orientation.
Such “conversion therapy” is a “discredited practice that research indicates can cause significant harm, including higher rates of suicide-related thoughts and behaviors by LGBTQI+ youth.”